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The right clubs to help your game.

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Any golfer who is about to invest in their game by purchasing a new set of clubs should make one more investment - have a custom fitting session.

Every golfer is different in size, body shape and the shape and speed of their golf swing. Custom fitting results in clubs that are specifically suited to an individual's height, strength, club head speed and swing characteristics.

Off-the-shelf golf clubs are one-size-fits-all, designed for the 'typical' golfer. In this case, typical means someone 5-foot-9 or 5-10 who hits a 5- or 6-iron 160 yards. A golfer might get lucky with an off-the-shelf set, but many golfers will find themselves ill-suited to such a set.

The adjustments a golfer makes in his or her game to compensate for an ill-fitting set can make grooving a great swing, that much more difficult.

A club fitting can be performed at our new Club Fitting centre within our Academy which offers over 150 shaft, club-head and loft combinations.

In my experience club fitting does not have to be time-consuming or expensive. A very basic club fitting might take as little as 15 minutes (with proper warm up) but with our computer custom fitting, can take up to an hour. This I believe is the best option. The idea is to find the best combination of shaft (length, flex and kick point), loft (standard, strong or flat), lie (strong or flat), grip and swing weight, among other factors. This is best done using a computer system. The way we have set up our facility means that you can also see the flight of the shot. I know our customers will enjoy seeing the difference as the ball flies.

By watching the ball flight and checking marks left on the adhesive strips attached to the clubface and sole, we can show you the difference between the club combinations.

The question, "as a complete beginner, do I really need a custom fitted set of clubs?" always crops up when talking about fittings. My answer to this is, "as a compete beginner, it would be best for you to have a course of lessons to get your setup correct". Once you have grooved a good setup you can then proceed to a club fitting. Bear in mind that as you get better, your swing speed will change which will affect the club through the swing. This will need to be addressed as time goes on.

Fittings can be done for every club in the bag, including putters, but fittings for irons are most common, with driver fittings following closely behind.

Of course, a fitting only works if you follow up by purchasing a set of clubs custom made to those specifications.

One thing to keep in mind, if you want a set of, for example, Titleist clubs, the ones you order after a club fitting will cost approximately the same as the same set bought off the shelf.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:Nov 2, 2008
Words:508
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